Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Boot and Shoe by Marla Frazee

This is a heartwarming tale about two dogs (though my children swore up and down they were cats) that share everything including there routines. They eat together, share the same bed, pee on the same tree the only difference is Boot is a back porch kind of dog and Shoe likes the front porch better. All is well in their routines till a naughty squirrel decides to shake it up and the two dogs lose each other. Will they ever be reunited. This is such a cute story that would work with many different themes: Dogs, Pets, friends, routines. It is also written to appeal to many ages.

Creepy Carrots By Aaron Reynolds and Illustrated by Peter Brown

Creepy Carrots is such a cute book. We have already read this book at least thirty times and my children never tire of it. Creepy Carrots! is the story of Jasper Rabbit who can not get enough of the carrots at Crackenhopper Field, that was until they began following him. Is this just a trick of Jasper's imagination or are the carrots really after revenge. You will have to read the story to fond out. This would be a welcome addition to a vegetable story time or even a food themed Halloween story time. A great addition would be the "Lima Bean Monster" by Dan Yaccarino. A nice craft idea would be creepy carrot bookmarks with felt or even plant the top of a carrot and make a cute Popsicle stick fence.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Amazing Mr Zooty by Emma Chichester Clark

We read a lot of books in my family. So to keep up with the pace I find myself at the library at least three or four times a week digging through the children's stacks to find something new and interesting. When I say "new" I mean something different we have not read before. It was during my latest trip to the library I came across "The Amazing Mr. Zooty."  What a great story!! The Amazing Mr. Zooty is a cat with a mission to "Get out, Help out" and that is exactly what he does. Mr. Zooty comes across the Taylor family in the park after watching the children trying to catch leaves for luck he decides to help them. Dressing up as a begger cat he approaches them for money and after they politely refuse him money citing they have none they give him the lucky leaves they have caught. After thanking them Mr. Zooty leaves to walk away and then pretends to faint. The family promptly takes the cat home to help him get back on his feet, because everybody needs a little help sometimes. When the Taylor"s reach  home Mr. Zooty leaps up and states it is now my turn to help you and this is where the magic begins. Mr. Zooty than grants the family something they each wish. This is a magical tale about the power of kindness that teaches children the importance of helping and compassion. A must read for anyone.

The Amazing Mr. Zooty can be used in so many different storytimes as it's message is ageless. The colorful illustrations and beautiful writing will work with any group.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Heebie-Jeebie Jamboree by Mary Ann Fraser

I love this book!!!! I know that it is July and we are checking out Halloween books but the kids don't care and either do I ( plus it gets them excited for the holiday) This story is so original and very well written we had a great time reading it over and over again. The story follows two siblings who received mysterious tickets out of thin air to the Heebie-Jeebie Jamboree a ghoulish festival that only happens once a year. The children experience a frightfully good time at the festival and revel in all the sights and attractions of this creature carnival. It is a nice break from the normal Halloween costume book or trick or treating story. The illustrations are perfect creepy and colorful and great for children of any age. This book is a wonderful addition to any October story time the story itself is adaptable for a preschool or a toddler age range I would even venture to say early grade school.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pretty Pru By: Polly Dunbar

This was one of the stories read at my daughters weekly story time and from the moment that we heard it we were instantly in LOVE. This is such as sweet story that teaches kids the importance of sharing and what it means to be a good friend. The illustrations are as adorable as the story itself and I believe they are done by the author.
This book is an instant add to our favorites and we have already gone as far as to track down the others written by Ms. Dunbar so we can get more of Tilly and her friends.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tuck Me In! By Dean Hacohen & Sherry Scharschmidt

This book is a stroke of genius and I both my children love it. This book is beautifully illustrated and it simple concept appeals to toddlers. My daughters loved turning page after page tucking in the different baby animals. This book is a must for making bed time fun.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Spotlight on Early Childhood Education

Dear Friends,

I have recently had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a fellow advocate of early childhood education, Mr. Dan Gilbert. He has been kind enough to contribute one of his articles about the important impact parents and educators have in children learning to write. I hope you all enjoy and please feel free to contribute comments regarding the article.

Teaching Children to Write

From the time they are babies, children watch and observe the adults around them as they write in their everyday lives. They see their parents writing checks, making lists, and writing letters to friends. When children first try to imitate their parents' writing, their efforts are illegible to adults. Therefore, adults typically dub their writing as mere "scribbles". Their first attempts at writing the first letter of their name often only contain a few elements of the letter. However, these "scribbles" are an important and essential part in a child's writing development.

Parents and teachers often worry that their child is not developing writing skills because their letter formation is less than perfect. However, they should allow their child to develop their writing skills at their own pace. Instead of over-stressing penmanship, they should emphasize the fact that writing is the ability to communicate through the written word.

Vice President for Education at Primrose Schools, Dr. Mary Zurn, offers insight by saying, “the first conscious attempts a child makes to write a letter are usually the first letter of his or her name.  To an adult, the attempts may only vaguely resemble the letter, but these are moments to cherish and celebrate.  What is the message they are trying to communicate?”

Dr. Zurn has worked in the industry of early childhood education for some 40 years, and now incorporates the thought of self-expression and character building in the Balanced Learning® curriculum for preschool students. Writing is about expression and not about keeping the letters in the dotted lines. Pushing good penmanship on a child too soon can only lead to frustration and a dread of writing. As they develop more fine motor skills, a child's penmanship will progress at its own rate and with the leading of parents and teachers.

When children are encouraged to write for the sake of being creative and expressing themselves, then writing becomes fun, instead of frustrating. A child who does not feel the pressure to perform penmanship-wise will be much more likely to actually enjoy writing and 
want to write. Parents who want to encourage this should keep paper everywhere, so that children can practice writing, as well as other skills, through play. Parents should also use their own writing as a learning experience, inviting their children to participate while reinforcing writing skills. Reading is also essential to a child's writing development, as they imitate what they see and hear. Finally, in today's technologically-advanced society, it is important to allow children to practice writing with computers as well. A good word processing software will further encourage a child to write by eliminating the need to worry about letter formation or spacing. 

Writing is an essential skill to anyone who wants to succeed in the world. A parent who wants their child to be a good writer needs to encourage writing throughout the day. By making writing fun, as well as modeling their
own enjoyment of the writing process, their child will be much more likely to succeed.

Submitted by Dan Gilbert on behalf of Primrose Schools. For over 25 years, they have helped individuals achieve higher levels of success by providing them with an AdvancED® accredited, early child care services and education.  Through an accelerated Balanced Learning® curriculum, Primrose Schools students are exposed to a widely diverse range of subject matter giving them a much greater opportunity to develop mentally, physically and socially. Dan has written a number of articles on topics varying from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering.